White tie is probably the most formal attire a person can wear, without being decked out in medals and a uniform. These days it isn’t really worn much, but every once in a while you will find it brought back into practice. And in this day and age where detachable collars no longer exist, you may need to know what how to pull off this classic and elegant look.
First off, you’ll need a nice cotton dress shirt. it needs to be plain fronted (by which I mean, no pleats) with a wing collar, double cuffs and with studs, not buttons (although stud buttons are an OK alternative)
Evening trousers with a satin stripe, please. Which means no belt, so suspenders (braces for you yanks) and you should keep those in white.
The waistcoat should be white obviously, and made of marcella cotton, and ideally will be backless, this allows ventilation, and a little breeze up there can be a god send in a crowded ballroom
The Tie should be made of a marcella cotton, that matches the waistcoat. And should always be the kind of tie that you have to tie yourself. You can always tell when someone is wearing a ready made bow tie, especially when worn with a wing collar.
You should be wearing a black tailcoat with silk peak lapels, the buttons should also be silk covered.
Patent leather black lace ups are the only thing that can be worn well with white tie. Keep it simple though, a little brogue like design is OK, but anything over the top will just ruin the look
You can Add your own personal touches with a pocket watch, cufflinks a pocket square or a boutonniere shoved in your button hole.